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How to Transplant Yucca Plants

By M.H. Dyer

It's easy to understand why the yucca plant is sometimes called Spanish bayonet or Adam's needle. Just check out the yucca's sword-shaped spikes and sturdy stems. Although yucca is naturally a desert plant, prominent in the American Southwest, most varieties will grow in all but the coldest climates. Transplant yucca in autumn if you live in a climate with mild winters and hot summers. This will give the roots time to establish before hot, dry summer weather. If you live in a climate with cold winters, transplant yucca in spring, after all danger of frost has passed.

Using a sharp shovel, dig completely around the yucca plant, about a foot away from the outer edge of the plant. Rock the shovel back and forth to loosen the roots, then lift the yucca plant out of the soil. Work slowly and carefully, leaving the root system intact as much as possible.

Trim off any damaged or diseased roots with garden shears, then transplant the yucca plant as quickly as possible. If the yucca is large, put it in a box or a wheelbarrow to move it to the new location.

Dig a hole as deep as the yucca's root system, and twice as wide. Mix a shovelful of compost and a shovelful of sand with the reserved soil.

Plant the yucca in the hole, with the top of the yucca plant at the same soil depth as it was before. Be sure the yucca is straight, and faces the same direction as it was before. Fill the hole around the plant with the soil mixture, and tamp the soil down with the back of the shovel.

Water the yucca plant immediately after planting. Keep the soil slightly moist for two to three weeks, then resume normal watering. Like all succulents, yucca retains water in its leaves, so very little water is needed.

 

About the Author

 

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.